EP 59: Your Five People

This is the Photo Business Help Podcast. My name is Natalie Jennings. As I record this, I'm just about to leave on a trip to Colombia, South America for the first time. Pretty exciting.

Another reason it's exciting is because it's the first trip I've taken in a very long time that isn't work related. A lot of times I tack a vacation on to a gig. That's a whole other topic. I think it's not necessarily healthy to always do that. And I've certainly done plenty of it in the last few years but this is all for fun. And I will certainly tell you about it when I return this episode may be coming out post-trip anyway.

Heading to Colombia, getting ready for the holidays. Here in Minnesota it's very snow-globey and kind of idyllic when it comes to what what we're taught to believe about the holiday season. So Christmas lights are coming out and holiday parties are starting and all kinds of stuff is going on here. I am winding down my shooting season, which is feeling really nice. However, my one of my favorite things to shoot and I'm doing quite a few sessions ever are at home storytelling holiday sessions. So just hanging out with families, doing whatever they do, doing a few portraits is something I do every year. And it's been it's been a lot of fun. So that's what's going on with me.

Today I wanted to talk about something quickly. This isn't going to be a very long episode, but I wanted to touch on the topic of how you're feeling and looking at one specific aspect of your life that may be heavily influencing the space that you're in, and that is your five people.

Jim Rohn is credited with coming up with this concept. He posited that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. The theory behind this idea is that the people that you spend the most time with significantly shaped who you are, and it goes without saying, how you feel.

Cover image for the photo business help podcast episode 59, your 5 people

Let's look at this a little bit further. I used to be a high school English teacher. I did my graduate work in education and I taught inner city high school English for a while, both here in the States and in Pristina, Kosovo. Those kiddos were, they were in a rough spot. The kids in Kosovo were coming out of…their folks were coming out of a horrible war. So their lives were very, very different than mine was when I grew up. And the kids that I taught here were in a similar space, but just in day to day survival mode because they were either in gangs or involved in drugs, or both, or they were pregnant and having to take on the responsibilities of adults at a very young age. So they were they were going through a lot of stuff.

One of the ways that the teachers in both of these cases kind of held it together was by hitting the teacher's lounge and spewing all their crap all over everyone else. So there was a lot of conversation and bitching and moaning every day in the teacher's lounge because it was a stressful job. I found that after my first couple of months at my first teaching job that I was getting incredibly stressed out. I was just getting really tired sooner in the day, I wasn't feeling great. And I noticed that a huge part of it was the energy I picked up when I was sitting in that lounge every day for lunch. It was incredibly toxic. And there were two teachers that I had lunch with every day.

At the end of the week, I looked at it and it was like, they may not be the five people that I spend the most time with, but they were really close to to being in the circle of people that I was spending a lot of time with. We co-taught a couple classes together. So we were together a lot of the time during the week and I just decided to stop going to the lounge. I kind of did a little experiment and decided to eat lunch in my room because I had space to do that. And I honestly noticed a massive difference in how I felt day to day coming into work. I had more energy after lunch, I had a clear mind, it was a really, really intense change. For me, it was really cool to figure out that that was what was going on.

The five people thing is something if you're interested in it, dig into it, Google it. There's a lot of stuff out there on this topic. And it is fascinating, but I just wanted to encourage you to think about friends or coworkers or family members that may or may not be toxic to you right now.

And it's something that's not necessarily an easy thing to dig into. A lot of folks we have to see every day Maybe you're in a bad relationship, or maybe you have a really difficult kiddo at home. These things are real and it's not like you can just decide to not be around people that are in your life, especially, especially a permanent part of your life.


Being aware of how certain things in certain situations make you feel can really, really, really change the way that you approach them. It can help you change your attitude when you walk into a situation, it can help you recognize where you have control over your own mood over your own attitude and over your own experience.

How does this translate into business?

Well, the same way it does in life, I'm sure you guessed. Whenever you are working with, let's say, a new client and you start getting that icky feeling in the pit of your stomach and every email back and forth just isn't in alignment with you and feels icky and they aren't getting what you are offering and whatever you're explaining isn't going through and they're demanding or whatever it is, whenever we've we've all had that client…that's just one example of recognizing when you may or may not be putting yourself in a toxic situation. If you're spending a lot of time with someone over the course of days, weeks and months, they may fall into your five people category, to a point where it's significantly influencing your mind, body, spirit, health and wellness.

Take a think on what might be going on in your life. This time of year is full of gatherings and mandatory time with folks that we sometimes don't want to spend as much time with. It's a great time to reflect inward, to see sort of what's going on in different patterns in your life and in your business. So if it's a co worker, if you are the boss, and you've got folks on your staff or in your business that are really causing you a lot of anxiety and stress, maybe there's, there's something to look at there. And I'm not saying axe everything out of your life, I'm just saying that it's a really helpful, useful tool to get started on some positive energy and some healing. So that's what I've got for you today. Until next time, in all you want to achieve remember that consistency is key.

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